Christina L.
Hutchinson, DDS

Hutchinson Dental is a family dental practice that offers general dentistry, cleanings, restorative procedures, cosmetic dentistry and management of sleep disorders. Dr. Christina Hutchinson, owner of the practice, has been a dentist for the past 16 years. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and practiced in Oklahoma before moving to California and completing a dental residency at UCLA. She then worked at a Manhattan Beach dental office before opening her own business in 2015.

Tell us about the importance of practicing the Golden Rule in business.

“Although dentistry is a business, there is a huge part of that business that demands ethics while providing care. If we treat our patients by holding ourselves to the high standards of the way we would like to be treated in terms of thoughtfulness and respect, we excel in customer service.”

How has having a mentor influenced your professional success?

“My orthodontist growing up, Dr. C. Dow Miller, was a great role model. He helped parents and patients understand his recommendations, and he listened to his young patients as if we were adults with something to say. I hope that our patients view us the same way.”

Tell us about a Woman in Business whom you admire.

“I have a lot of respect for Dr. Summer Blake, an orthodontist in Manhattan Beach. I remember when she first started her own practice, she had a skeleton crew. Now she has grown her practice to a large team that runs like a well-oiled machine! To witness her professional growth while continuing to be one of the best orthodontists around and having four children—she’s amazing!”

What challenges are specific to your industry?

“Dentistry is challenging when you consider the many spinning plates we must manage to care for our patients. We must provide thoughtful treatment recommendations and carry them out with integrity for a predictable, functional and beautiful outcome. We must be current on dental materials and technologies. We must respect the fact that each patient has their own unique health history. And we must also acknowledge that a lot of patients arrive with anxiety when it comes to receiving dentistry.”

Which personality traits are most important to be successful in your field?

“Honesty and integrity are critical traits to be successful in dentistry. A lot of dental patients are anxious, and they need to feel trust before moving forward. If patients are spoken to honestly and their care is given with integrity, everything works out for the patient’s benefit. And when patients win, so does the team which provided their care.”

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made professionally?

“The biggest mistake I have made in my career was not valuing my self-worth and allowing an employer to gain from my efforts. How does that make sense? Once I realized a stagnant situation was not mutually beneficial, I set out to work for myself. It was my single best career move!”

How do you combat the fear of making wrong decisions from day to day?

“I prefer to approach patients with the most conservative yet appropriate treatment option first. Some treatment options take patients down the path of irreversible loss of tooth structure, and there are definitely times when this is appropriate. But if something less complicated will provide predictability for some time, I believe that is best for patients.”

Why did you move to this area?

“I had been practicing in another office in Manhattan Beach but living in Los Angeles when I met my husband in 2013. I used to love living in Los Angeles, but after moving to Manhattan Beach I can now appreciate ‘the bubble.’ We have everything we need here, and it is more calm and personal than the city. I love living in the South Bay!”

What is the best part of your day?

“The best part of my day is chatting with patients during exams. I treat everyone casually like a friend, so I enjoying learning what is new with them and where they have been since I last saw them.”

Tell us about your ideal day off.

“My ideal day off would include not waking up at 5 a.m.—maybe 7 a.m. instead. Then my husband and I would load up the dog, grab a coffee and take him to the park to wake up the squirrels in the trees. Then I would head to Bristol Farms and pick up ingredients to make a five-hour Bolognese and fresh pasta, which my husband and I would enjoy with a nice bottle of South African wine.”